The NHS can sometimes be complicated to understand. As a patient, relative or carer you may sometimes need to turn to someone for help, advice and support and this is where the Patient Experience Team can help.
- Offer confidential help and advice
- Give guidance on the NHS complaints procedure
- Give advice on where to direct your NHS complaint
- Provide information about local health services and support groups
- Signpost to other organisations such as Independent Advocacy and other patient experience services
Making a complaint about NHS treatment and care
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group commission hospital care, mental health services, out of hours services, NHS 111 and some community health care services, for example audiology, from provider organisations. We do not provide health care direct to patients.
If your complaint relates to NHS treatment and care you are advised to complain directly to that service provider’s complaints team.
Hospitals and Community Trusts have teams, usually referred to as the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), to help patients, carers and relatives with enquiries or concerns. These teams can:
PALS act confidentially when handling patient and family concerns, liaising with staff, managers and, where appropriate, relevant organisations to provide solutions.
If the PALS team are unable to resolve your concerns you have the right to make a formal complaint and they can give guidance and advice on what you need to do.
The CCG ensures that it is kept informed of the complaints received by its providers and of improvements to services resulting from complaints.
If you are unhappy with a primary care service, such as your GP practice, optician, or pharmacist, you can complain either directly to the Practice Manager of the surgery or if you prefer to NHS England, the organisation which manages complaints for these services:
Telephone: 0300 311 22 33 (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, excluding bank holidays)
Write to: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch B97 9PT
Making a complaint about a Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG commissioning or funding decision
If you wish to make a complaint and you are registered with one of our GP practices, you should complain directly to the CCG on the following issues:
Commissioning decision, for example, if the CCG has stopped or replaced a service in your area.
Exceptional Funding process.
Continuing Healthcare Funding process.
The CCG Complaints Policy is presently under review. Please contact the PET team if you have any specific queries about policy or process.
What happens if I am still not satisfied?
If you are unhappy with the final response to your complaint and would like to take the matter further, you have the right to contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to ask them to investigate. It is important that you make your complaint to the Ombudsman as soon as you receive our final response as there are time limits for the Ombudsman to look into complaints.
Who else can help me?
If you feel you need support in making your complaint, this is available through Total Voice Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Independent Health Complaints Advocacy. They provide a free, independent and confidential support for people who wish to make a complaint about the care they have received from the NHS. An Advocate can explain the complaints process and give guidance on writing an effective complaint letter and where appropriate you can have one to one advocacy support.
If you have a positive experience to share, we would like to pass on your compliments to the relevant staff and to share this within the organisation.
Have you used the Patient Experience Team?
If you have used the Patient Experience Team, we are interested in what you thought of our service. Your comments will help us to improve the service for the future. Please complete a short survey by clicking here - you do not need to give us your name.
Patient stories - Your NHS journey
At our monthly Governing Body meetings we hear and discuss patient experiences regarding their NHS healthcare, referred to as a ‘patient story’. These stories are either read out by the patient, relative or carer, or they are anonymised and read out by an NHS staff member.
Patient stories bring experiences to life. They encourage the NHS to focus on the patient as whole person rather than just a clinical condition or as an outcome. Patient stories are often used in board meetings of organisations
The Governing Body members use patient stories as an opportunity to understand the impact of someone's experience on them, their family and carers. It helps see things through a patient's eyes and is often a very powerful way to start the meeting to influence the atmosphere in which the meeting takes place.
If you would like to share your ‘patient story’ with the CCG, please contact the Patient Experience Team to discuss this further.